Perry High School in Iowa is now mourning the loss of its beloved principal, Dan Marburger, who tragically passed away on Sunday (1/14) morning. 56-year-old Marburger heroically put himself in harm's way during a school shooting on January 4th, where an 11-year-old student lost his life, and six others were injured. Governor Kim Reynolds expressed the state's devastation and honored Marburger for his selfless and courageous actions, ordering all flags in Iowa to be lowered to half-staff in his memory.

Marburger, who had been the school's principal since 1995, is remembered as a "gentle giant" by his daughter and a hero by the superintendent, Clark Wicks. The Perry community has rallied around Marburger's family, offering condolences and support through a GoFundMe page. The tragic incident serves as a somber reminder of the ongoing need to address and prevent violence in schools. The impact of Marburger's sacrifice is evident in the outpouring of grief from the community and the statewide gesture of lowering flags in his honor.

Original Article Published on January 4th, 2024.

After returning to school for the first time since winter break, authorities in Perry, Iowa are currently reporting an active shooter situation at Perry High School, with at least one confirmed death. Reports now say the shooter is dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. A sixth-grade student was killed, and four other students and the schools principal Dan Marburger, who has worked in the community district for 25 years, were shot.

Additional online posts and shares have identified the shooter as 17 year-old Dylan Butler, who posted a cryptic message online before the shooting took place that stated, "Now we wait," along with his picture. Butler was said to have been in the possession of a pump-action shotgun, a small caliber handgun, and an improvised explosive device. The explosive device was rendered safe by the state fire marshal and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Credit: Google Mpas
Credit: Google Maps

Reports from the associated press of a shooting prompted an immediate response from law enforcement in Dallas County Iowa, with an array of emergency vehicles surrounding the building that houses both the middle and high schools in the town of Perry. The FBI's resident agent at their Des Moines office responded to the scene to assist the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is also on scene. Additional reports currently state that multiple people have been injured by gun shot. Officers were reported to have responded within seven minutes of the active shooter alarm. They do confirm there is no further danger to the public.

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An eyewitness report came from fifteen-year-old Zander Shelley, who was waiting in a hallway for the school day to commence. He heard the terrifying sound of gunshots and rushed into a nearby classroom. His father reported Zander was grazed twice while seeking refuge and alerted him, Kevin Shelley, at 7:36am. Kevin, a garbage truck driver, described it as the most scared I've been in my entire life.

Credit: Google Maps
Credit: Google Maps

The Iowa State Police, alongside FBI agents from the Omaha-Des Moines office, are leading the investigation. Perry's Mayor, Dirk Cavanaugh, emphasized the absence of confirmed details regarding those involved, emphasizing the need for accurate information, as with any situation like this.

As the community grapples with shock, anxiously awaiting updates, the incident occurred against the backdrop of the Iowa caucuses, not far from where political candidates are currently campaigning. The Perry Community School District, with 1,785 students, now faces an unimaginable challenge as officials work to provide support and information to concerned families and the community as a whole. The tragedy has sent shockwaves through the town of 8,000 residents. Watch for more updates as they are released.

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